No one but the SEO company understands how rapidly the world of search is changing. There are even some who are trying to say that SEO is dead and done. But this is simply not true. The most recent changes to Google have left many scratching their heads as to how SEO best practices will look in the future. We know the face of SEO is changing, but what can we expect in 2014? Perhaps we can answer this question by looking at some of the most recent Google updates. Here are some of the emerging SEO trends that we see for the coming year.
Just a few years ago SEO and social media simply coexisted. But over the last few years the line between the two began to blur. Now more than ever the major search engines use social signals as part of their ranking algorithms. In web marketing today an effective SEO strategy will be incomplete without incorporating into it the social aspect of the Web 2.0 which is built around the social element to begin with. And on the other hand, an effective social media strategy will be contributory to the SEO initiative. It is important for the two to work together in order to achieve higher rankings in the SERPs, increase site traffic and of course increase the ROI for a business. Over the last few years there have been several giants in the world of social media; but recently there have been some changing of the guard. Here three top social media platforms that should be part of any social media strategy used in an SEO campaign.
The various social media platforms can be exceptional tools for marketing, this includes the blog. Maintaining a business blog can yield many different benefits for the business if it is handled correctly. Blogging can keep the website from going stale as well as provide a platform to interact with consumers. Content creation is one of the main components of blogging and it must be done regularly in order to have an impact on a search engine optimization campaign. Blogging can be used in conjunction with a website, or it can be maintained off site. Either way, maintaining a blog can help establish the company name across the internet. A business blog can provide a small business a chance to share their expertise in their own niche or industry.
Producing High Quality Content
One of the most important aspects of blogging is that the company gets to produce their own voice. It can be an essential part of developing trust between the business and the client. However, it is very important to note that the content on a blog needs to be high quality and informative. One way to develop this is to make the blog into an education center in order to answer all the questions that your clients may have about your products or services. Although blogging is a marketing tactic, the language should be more informative rather than sales pitchy. Maintain an archive so that readers have plenty more articles to look at for examples and always give a call to action by inviting the readers to learn more. These strategies will help keep them engaged with the site, the blog and ultimately the business.
If you were to call up 50 SEO advisors and ask them to define search engine optimization, you are likely to get nearly 50 different interpretations of an SEO definition. This is because many people who state that they are an “SEO specialist” just offer two or three aspects of SEO strategies. They found a couple of things that work to help site rankings and use them. But there are not very many SEO specialists who really offer a comprehensive approach to search engine optimization. It is well worth the expense to hire an SEO specialist who knows what they are doing and can effectively launch an SEO campaign that will incorporate a broad range of strategies into a customized campaign for each client.
What is SEO?
In simple terms, search engine optimization is the use of a wide variety of strategies and methods which will ensure that a website will rank high in the search engine result pages (SERP). By using several proven SEO strategies a website can achieve higher rankings in the major SERPs when a user enters certain keywords or phrases into the search field. To offer an example, think about your own last internet search. When you, or someone else, are looking for a product or information it is likely that they entered a search in a search engine because it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to obtain the information. Once you enter a query and the results are displayed, it is likely that you never went past the first page because they were more relevant to the search. This is the goal of SEO. A website is optimized so that when a related query is entered the site will rank as high as possible. The end goal is to obtain more traffic to the site which of course leads to more conversions or sales. When an SEO campaign is carried out properly it will place a site at the top of the rankings so that it will gain instant credibility with the audience you are trying to reach.
One of the first questions an SEO specialist is likely to ask a potential or future client is if they have a blog or not. Content writing is one of the most intrinsic components of developing an SEO campaign today and many are finding that maintaining a blog is one of the best methods to generate fresh content and generic links for their site. The search engines will rank every web page and each post on a blog is an extra web page that can be indexed. This gives even more opportunities to target the main keywords as well as using some of the coveted long tail keyword variations. Not only does a blog help provide content which can be indexed by search engines, it can also help establish you as a knowledgeable authority in your industry. Blogs can be a major component of a social media campaign. This proves that content can be and should be promoted using social media platforms. But then of course it is important to note that not all blogs are created equal. What should a blog have to be a huge contributor to an SEO campaign?
A Professional Look
Of course SEO is more about the written content that a blog contains than about the appearance of the page. But remember that your goal in maintaining a blog is not simply to please the search engines; you do have human readers after all. When designing the blog it is important to remember that the reader will evaluate the blog by what they see when they land on the page quicker than what they will read. Actually, it the page is disorganized and the layout is difficult to navigate it is likely that they will not read the blog at all. Using a free template will create a better appearance for the blog but it is far better to have a professional design it and customize it for your brand.
Keywords are an essential part of search engine optimization but it is very important to know how to use them effectively. One of the responsibilities of the SEO specialist is to conduct comprehensive research to determine which relevant keywords they should use for web marketing campaigns. Once the keywords are revealed they will be used in a wide variety of marketing strategies including content, blogs, ads, titles, and other forms of marketing media. Keywords can be a critical part of obtaining a high ranking in the search engine result pages. Each SEO campaign must start with extensive keyword search along with analysis to identify the most relevant and effective keywords to be incorporated into the campaign. During this research, the SEO professional will find two types of keywords: short tail keywords and long tail keywords. Each of these plays a different role and can have a major impact on an SEO campaign.
In the not so distant past, long tail keywords were hailed as a very effective way to increase search traffic. But of course, there was not as much competition back then and it was quite a bit easier to optimize pages in order to use the long tail keywords. Even though many still consider this to be part of ancient history and treat it as the forgotten treasure, they have been making a resurgence in value. Using long tail keywords can offer a powerful tool through which to leverage search traffic, especially when there is a lot of competition surrounding some of the “core” keywords in a niche or industry. Once it becomes clear how to use long tail keywords as part of an SEO strategy, they can actually work for us even better than they did in the past.
What is a long tail keyword?
A long tail keyword is a more of a keyword phrase which usually contains at least 3 words; but it can contain as many as 5 words. These are very useful when a website needs to refine some of the search terms; but is also effective when a user is searching for something more specific. A long tail keyword is similar to normal keywords in that they are useful for defining the page contents, what the publisher wants to be found through searches and what is displayed on SERPs. The key difference is that they are much more specific in nature and do not draw as much traffic to the site. However, the traffic that they do draw is generally higher quality, or more relevant which can lead to many more conversions than what normal keywords typically produce.